Boston soccer fans gathered at the House of Blues on June 12 to watch the exciting Argentina vs. Nigeria World Cup game. Not surprisingly, not many of the attendees were American citizens. While the global community will be captivated by the games for the next few weeks, America has not caught on to the excitement of World Cup or soccer in general.
South African activists and writers Elinor Sisulu and Sindiwe Magona came to Boston last week to participate in a series of seminars to celebrate the children’s literature of their home country. The seminars were part of the 10th anniversary festivities for South Africa Partners, a Boston-based nonprofit organization that supports relations between the U.S. and South Africa through education and health initiatives.
Fourteen years after the end of apartheid, South Africa has emerged as one of the continent’s premier powers. But it is still a country in transition. Racial strife between the country’s white minority and the black majority is still a problem, and new challenges, such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic and widespread violent crime, are draining the country’s resources.
In fact, there are some critics who believe the new South Africa may actually be in worse shape than it was under the apartheid regime.
When Shaumba-Yandje Dibinga first started planning to bring members of her Roxbury-based youth dance organization OrigiNation to South Africa, her goal was simply to give her students the opportunity to perform in another country.
Little did she know that the 10-day trip would be a soul-searching, life-changing experience for her and her 17 young charges.